For many homeowners reaching their golden years, the need for multiple bedrooms and expansive outdoor space diminishes as you look to retirement. Thoughts of travel, embracing a new hobby or simply taking it easy begin to take over and tiresome household chores like cleaning bathrooms and mowing the lawn can get in the way of the lifestyle you are looking forward to. Downsizing is a term we hear quite often in the real estate industry. It sounds easy enough, but in reality can cause anxiety for even the most motivated homeowners.
After your children have flown the coop and you make the decision to sell your family-sized home to purchase something smaller, you will inevitably have to get rid of some furniture and other belongings.
To help ease the stress of giving up some of your cherished items, here are a few tips to keep you on track:
- Figure out where you’re moving to before you post your treasured dining room set on Kijiji. Perhaps your new two-bedroom condo has a spacious dining room. When you know exactly where it is you’re moving to and the exact room dimensions, you can sell or give away any big items that just won’t fit in your new space. It also prevents you from humming and hawing over things, reasoning that you ‘might’ be able to fit them in somewhere. Measure every room in your new house so you don’t have to guess.
- Don’t leave everything to the last minute. Get a good head start on downsizing as soon as you buy a new home. Spend an hour or two each day going through the rooms of your current home, organizing and packing things up as you go. It can’t hurt to carry a big box around with you for items you have no trouble parting with – home decor items, desk lamps, pictures etc. At the end of the week, you can offer the items to family or friends and make a run to Value Village or a charity to get rid of what’s left.
- Purge any items you don’t use. When you’re trying to decide if you should bring that bulky food processor or toaster oven to your new (smaller) kitchen, think about how much use it’s gotten over the past year. If it’s only once or twice, chances are you can pass it on to someone else without missing it.
- Make some money! It’s so easy these days to sell used items. From kitchen appliances to furniture, there’s someone out there who will gladly purchase your castaways.